LSS gene may be potential target of gene therapies in hair loss disorders?

A study of rare disorder hypotrichosis simplex has pointed to LSS gene as essential in a hair loss process.

The investigated disorder manifests itself by a quick loss of hair, starting in childhood. Some genes underlying hypotrichosis simplex were already discovered, but they accounted only for nearly 50% of cases. The remaining part was recently associated with LSS gene.

LSS produces a protein called lanosterol synthase, which plays an essential role in cholesterol metabolism within hair follicle cells. Mutations to the gene disrupt a protein and therefore damage hair growth, causing rapid baldness.

Researchers have hypothesized that:

findings therefore suggest that LSS plays an important role in the regulation of hair growth and may facilitate the development of novel therapies for hair loss

LSS may be used in the diagnosis and treatment of hair loss. Probable genetic intervention may include insertion of proper LSS gene (without mutations) which produces correct protein and helps to grow hair.

More: “Bi-allelic Mutations in LSS, Encoding Lanosterol Synthase, Cause Autosomal-Recessive Hypotrichosis Simplex”, M-T. Romano et al., 2018, doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.09.011.